This year, we have created this Access & Inclusion Guide to send a very clear message to the community that we are welcoming people who have a disability to Fairbridge Festival.
Fairbridge Festival prides itself of catering to the needs of the whole community and we like to view the festival as a safe, accessible space that allows anyone and everyone to enjoy this remarkable cultural experience.
As such, we’re always working to improve the experience and this year we’re excited to let you know about a few initiatives that increase the accessibility of the program and the site. We’re also highlighting the great things we’ve always been doing that maybe we’ve been a bit quiet about.
WANDJU – THE NEW QUIET SPACE
Wandju means “Welcome” in Noongar language. This new space will be a welcoming place of rest where quietude prevails.
The program offers something for everyone, and sometimes all of that ‘something’ can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve created the Wandju Quiet Space. This is a place where people can retreat to and find some quiet time within the hustle and bustle of the festival. Our vision is that this chill-out space is accessible to anyone with sensory challenges, irrespective of age, although little people will need to attend with their responsible adult.
The centrepiece is a hand built sensory wall-scape co-designed and created in collaboration with the Fremantle Community Men’s Shed and artist Blake Poole. The wall-scape offers a range of different tactile and visual experiences for people to lose themselves. Other sensory fidgets and tactile play objects will be provided by the Learning Pod who are experienced facilitators working with people with autism and other sensory challenges. They will be bringing their custom designed sensory box for de-escalation and a private space to regulate emotions away from the busy-ness of the event.
Now officially registered with WA Companion Card, people with disabilities can show their companion card to receive a free ticket equivalent to the value of ticket purchased by the card holder. These can be either Day or Festival Tickets for the entire weekend.
For Festival Weekend Tickets, holders of a companion card can contact Louise Vermeulen our Ticket Manager on 0450 207 250 to discuss requirements and accommodation options prior to the festival. You will be required to email a photo of your companion card OR your companion card number and expiry date to Louise at [email protected]
Please note that exclusions apply to some ticket types eg, Cosy Camping, Glamping and cottage accommodation.
More information about the WA Companion Card can be found at http://www.wacompanioncard.org.au/
SPECIAL AUSLAN WORKSHOP & PERFORMANCE WITH ALTER BOY:
Music without Barriers – Accessibility in Music and Live Performance
Alter Boy will be performing in Auslan and delivering a workshop on Accessibility in Music and Live Performance. The workshop and performance will be presented by three fluent Auslan users so is Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing accessible.
Alter Boy is a Queerlectro Pop group from Perth. This dance band queerifies religious iconography in a theatrical whirl of performance art, choreography and costume. Three of its members are Deaf/ Hard-of-Hearing and all songs are performed in Auslan (Australia Sign Language). Expect a sex-positive, queer euphoric slant on lobotomies, divorcing Jesus, dressing gay, death anxiety, penis envy and more.
The Music Without Barriers workshop will explore creative new ways of reaching Deaf and disabled audiences. Musicians can find themselves intimidated by accessibility, but we want to remind them that ‘attitude is everything’. The workshop will encourage bands, audiences, events managers, and venue operators alike to rethink “disability’ beyond the medical model, and to discuss how access can be of benefit to the music business, with an upsurge of new patrons entering and accessing spaces that were previously restricting or inaccessible. This workshop is Auslan accessible.
Check the program for their scheduled electrifying performance times.
ACROD parking is available within the festival site. These are now marked on the festival map.
Day visitors can park at two primary locations – check with entry staff on arrival and they will direct you to either:
- Outside Artists Central (Dining Hall)
- Outside Mandja Venue
These two parking areas are accessible during all hours of the festival and there are several bays available. This is not a temporary drop-off point.
There is a temporary drop-off point for people with disabilities at the ACROD parking area outside the Artists Central (Dining Hall).
Cottage dwellers and campers can park right next to their accommodation.
Cars must be parked at your accommodation on Friday before 4pm.
After 4pm on Friday, vehicles are not permitted to be moved until after 2pm on Sunday. This is as per the event Terms and Conditions of Entry. The only exceptions to this would be in the case of emergency.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS – BITUMEN ROADS & FOOTPATHS
Bitumen roadways are marked by the large dotted line on the map – See the Legend _ _ _ Roadway (No Vehicle Access) – marked with the Wheelchair. The Roadways are all accessible.
Most of the footpaths are accessible throughout the village, though caution is required in some of the footpaths that are dirt or gravel and may not be wheelchair accessible. Staying on the main well-utilised footways is recommended for wheelchair users, rather than going bush. Special care is required in the event of rain.
ACCESSIBLE TOILET FACILITIES & SHOWERS
Toilet facilities throughout the site are identified on the map by accessibility symbols – if there is a wheelchair symbol and a shower symbol together, this means that it also contains an accessible shower.
Accessible public facilities include:
- Transportable toilets located east of the Chapel food stall area and Mandja stage (near pony rides)
- Transportable toilets located near the Garden Bar (behind Paper Scissors Rock)
- One fixed toilet located inside Fairbridge Village Office/Café (only available for use when the café is open)
- The Clubhouse has a disabled toilet on the side of the main building
- Fixed toilet and ACROD shower located behind Artist Central / Peacock Bar (Dining Hall)
- Fixed toilets are available near Ruby Fairbridge Centre, located south of the Oval Camping
ACCESSIBLE COTTAGE ACCOMMODATION
All cottages are in the Kingsley Park area and some offer accessible features such as wheelchair accessible ramps, kitchen and bathroom facilities. These are marked on the map.
There are four cottages that each have two wheelchair access ramps and fully accessible bathrooms:
- Cottage No 9 Raleigh
- Cottage No 10 Hudson
- Cottage No 11 Darwin
- Cottage No 16 Livingston
All of the above cottages with accessible kitchens are….
Contact the Ticket Manager to confirm your requirements and availability as soon as possible prior to the festival to discuss cottage availability to avoid disappointment. Please make your booking and enquiries to Louise Vermeulen our Ticket Manager on 0450 207 250 or [email protected]
If you book a cottage that has accessible facilities, we will reserve a designated area for you to park your vehicle outside of the cottage. This area is marked by bunting.
Companion Card holders can apply to camp within the Kingsley Park area by downloading the relevant form from the website and submitting to the Ticket Manager to check availability. If camping is approved for Kingsley Park, once you arrive at the festival, it is ‘first come, best dressed’ for finding a spot under the Access & Inclusion page on the website.
Alternatively, if Kingsley Park camping is not available, you may choose to camp at the Oval located in the south western area of the site. This is located close to accessible showers and toilets at the Ruby Fairbridge Centre – see map.
Please address all enquiries to Louise Vermeulen our Ticket Manager on 0450 207 250 or [email protected]
The oval is generally the quietest camping area in terms of music sound spill from the venues. In the far eastern side of the Fields Camping is another good area to avoid sound spill, but it is quite a trek.
Several of our venues will have noise reducing ear muffs for those who need to reduce stimulation from noisy environments. Look for the headphone symbol in the following venues as indicated on our program map:
Mandja, Backlot, Centre Koort, Kaleidoscope
There are also several additional ear muffs located in the Wandju Quiet Space.
Please note that ear muffs must remain in the same location and are not to be taken away when leaving the venue.
Generally, the site has low level lighting where possible, however, for safety and risk management, there will be some generator powered lighting that can be fairly bright. Strong lighting is minimised where possible, however is required is some areas (eg ditches and other potential hazards) to ensure safety at the festival.
See the map for Knife & Fork symbol map legend for food stalls areas, where there will be strong food smells.
Additionally, some of the site electricity is provided by generators and sometimes there could be strong odours in the immediate vicinity which people may find overwhelming. These generators are required to provide lighting for safety as per the festival’s risk management plan.
Collaborative partners include Fremantle Men’s Community Shed, Fremantle artist Blake Poole Production, with funding from the CPLG grant provided by NDS & Lotterywest.
We would like to thank APM Communities, Partner in Community delivering the NDIS for being a valuable partner in creating momentum to imagine and realise the Wandju Quiet Space. APM has helped to create the sensory map in the program and highlight other accessible features of the festival so we could make changes to this program to encourage inclusion of people with disabilities to attend the festival.